DJ Lady Ryan behind her turntable setup in her studio apartment last summer. Credit: Pete Rosos

Since the state fully reopened on June 15, social media has been abuzz with posts from DJs sharing where they will be spinning next.

DJ D Sharp, best known as the official DJ for the Warriors, recently worked on Grand Nationxl’s new album Eastshore Highway.

It’s been a long 15 months since DJ Zita was last seen behind the turntables at Hello Stranger in downtown. 

On July 2, DJ Fuze finally returned to Somar to spin. “My home away from home,” he wrote on social media announcing his return. Fuze co-produced several songs on Digital Underground’s Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum debut album Sex Packets. Most notable of these songs is the Bay Area classic “Freaks of the Industry.” 

The last time that the Oaklandside talked to DJ Lady Ryan, she spoke of the disparities she and other DJs faced trying to pivot to creating content online and learning how to stream to earn money during the pandemic.

From top to bottom: DJs D Sharp, Zita, Lady Ryan and Fuze. Credit: YR Media

Now, all four DJs are teaming up for a new project by YR Media called “Surround Sound: Oakland.” Every Wednesday in July, each DJ will pick an Oakland neighborhood that they have a connection to and create a special playlist for it that will be shared to YR Media’s music and video streaming platform, AllDayPlay.FM.

The first in the series, which premiered on Wednesday, July 7 at 6 p.m. was curated by DJ D Sharp. It’s a sonic ode to the “Twomps” also known as the “Dubs,” an area in East Oakland comprising several neighborhoods between 20th to 29th Avenue and International and Foothill. 

D Sharp’s video begins with an introduction in which he recalls how Manzanita Rec Center, located in the neighborhood, was the first place where he spun professionally with an audience. He also recalls being a teenager in the late 1980s and how the crack epidemic and Drug War were harming Oakland communities. “A lot of the music part of the playlist reflects that area,” he said during the opening segment. “The birth of N.W.A., Too Short, who was a pioneer.” 

Next Wednesday, DJ Zita’s episode will focus on Oakland’s parks where redwood trees grow, like Joaquin Miller Park, and how these majestic forests are a crucial part of living a balanced life in Oakland. 

On July 21, DJ Lady Ryan will explore her memories of Lake Merritt circa 2009 and what the DJ scene and Oakland nightlife were like during that area. 

Finally, DJ Fuze will take us on a journey from Funktown to North Oakland, where he was living while DJing and producing music for musical legends like Digital Underground, 2Pac, Raw Fusion, The Luniz, Dru Down, and others.

If you can’t check the live stream, it can be replayed anytime on AllDayPlay.FM.

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.